Beginner observations after 6 weeks-facts or fallacies??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dpa10, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. dpa10

    dpa10 New Friend

    Sep 15, 2009
    There seems to be a huge amount of conflicting info out there on the web about trumpet playing, trumpet maintenance etc.

    This is my second instrument after guitar, and after 6 weeks I've made some observations. (Lot's of help by reading posts here)

    1.) The trumpet is physically a demanding instrument to play.
    2.) Aural and "oral" skills are essential.(Perhaps more so than instruments with fixed tuning)
    3.) Tone is a function of embochure and breath support.
    4.) Good tone is fleeting among beginners. :-)
    5.) It is better to develop tone and breath support on lower notes, rather than to try to screech notes above the staff, although stretching ones' range briefly isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    6.) Learning to play softly will help with the higher notes.
    7.) Relaxing is essential.
    8.) multiple 15 minute practices are better than one long one, at least until the lip develops.

    Please correct me if any of these are incorrect.
    Thanks for your feedback in advance.

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Deane - that's the plan - the trick is to get it all reliably, but it sure is fun trying. The hardworking few will have it now, most of the rest of us aspire.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    You got it, Deane!
    One more to add: don't forget to have a life and have fun!
  4. dpa10

    dpa10 New Friend

    Sep 15, 2009
    Thanks Ted!!!
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    You have a better handle on trumpet playing than I did after six weeks!

    The less "physically demanding" you can be, the easier trumpet playing will be.

    I like to think of breathing as a flow, rather than "support." Tension is the enemy of good breathing.

    Listen to great trumpet players, it might help with that "fleeting" good sound!

    Enjoy the trumpet!
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You have focussed primarily on the mechanics of trumpet playing, but that is not why most of us play.

    We play to make music and develop a "taste" of what sounds good. That takes time and in fact corresponds to the time it takes to meet the physical demands.

    That is why even if there were a KILLER method for learning to play the trumpet, it would be useless. Advanced mechanics do not necessarily make for better music.

    Rejoice in thousands of small steps that lead to us being a better person, more patient with a better overview. THAT is the goal of daily practice!
  7. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    hi dpa,

    remember, always warm up

    I always warm up 10 minutes. Your endurance depends on time spent on warmup.

    No warmup - you are gone after 5 minutes

    1 minute warmup - you will last 10 minutes

    2minute warmup - you will last 15 minutes

    3 minute warmup - you will last 18 minutes

    4 minute warmup - you will last 20 minutes

    thats it for the begginer. 20 minutes plus 4 minutes warmup is more than enough.

    and remember always warm up on low tones. low c to low f like this


    and back up again, than down again, you can tongue a bit in the process, but only with ru ru or tu tu, because you are low
  8. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Warmup periods differ from player to player -- some people need only a few minutes and they can play all day, others need an hour of just warmups before they can last more than an hour of "real" playing.

    Listen to what people like FrankMike and all the other great members of this forum have to say and take none of what any of us say as gospel truth that works for everybody and try things always with a mind to finding what works best for you, and if it's something nobody else has mentioned, that's fine.

    Rowuk said it best when he pointed out that it's the music we're making which is why we play the instrument, and listen for the best tone and the music you want to be making.

    Greg Wing, professor of trumpet at Morehead University, says that if you focus primarily on the tone that comes out of the instrument and work for what you think is the best trumpet tone, that most of the rest of the stuff falls into place quite naturally. If we obsess about the little details, we lose sight of the real purpose of playing any instrument, which is to make music.
  9. dpa10

    dpa10 New Friend

    Sep 15, 2009
    Thanks for the feed back, folks.
    Rowuk's comment about making music leads to my next question about practicing.
    I find the books for beginners to be geared towards children. I can only play some of those parts for a bit before I go nuts. I need to learn to read music and also stay in the lower register, but I need to hear music I can relate to that motivates me.

    I've been playing the "Very Thought of You" to work on long tones and feel. I still read the music to train myself to sight read but the tune is committed to memory at this point. It does jump up to the second E on the staff, so, it does stretch me a bit. When the lip feels good I can play F easily, but this too is fleeting. I also play around with "Take the A Train" transposed down to a workable register for me. ALso the beginning of Haydn's Trumpet concerto (I'm playing it in B Flat) (Just the first few bars of the last two pieces)

    Is this advisable, or should I focus on the "kiddie" drills in the book?
    Perhaps there is a better book for 52 year old beginners!
    Haydn's first movement is like playing scales with varied timing and it is very gratifying to hear the music coming out of the trumpet. Getting those 1/16th notes is a bit beyond my ability, but it's fun to try for a minute or two.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi dpa,
    Why not do both?
    1)Get an Arbans book and learn what the different sections of the book are devoted to and work on those sections. I'm on my second copy of the book, the first one fell apart from use.
    2) Check out Jamey Aebersold play alongs. You will find songs like The Very Thought Of You and thousands more. I recommend The Magic of Miles as a good aebersold to start with.

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